Saturday, December 29, 2007

Stepping Back in Time

I guess it's normal after being away from a childhood home for years to do a lot of walking down Memory Lane upon returning. Here are some stops I've made so far during this visit.

I was born 8 weeks early and spent my first several weeks of life in an incubator. Here I am at the "feeder-&-grower" stage, somewhat bigger than the 3 lbs 14 oz at which I started out.

I've mentioned before that I did a lot of ballet in my youth. I peaked in my early-to-mid teens, then went downhill. But I enjoy looking back on those more graceful moments...

I like to step back in time by hundreds of years, too. Today the hubby and I revisited Intramuros, the old walled city of Manila, and speculated on what it must have been like during colonial times. Our conclusion: sweltering! How did they survive those swishy skirts and dark suits without AC? 400 years of Spanish rule - that's a longer time under Spain than a lot of Central and South American countries had! While I'm sure the more tyrannical features of Imperial Spain stank to high heaven, I do think the disappearance of the Spanish language here is a loss...almost as bad as the deterioration of the English language today...

And finally...a family nostalgia trip:

So many women in my family have remarkable gifts with food. One of my cousins, Suzette, has done something very special and unique with her talents. Her business, La Cocina de Tita Moning, houses a dining experience unparalleled in all of Manila. Suzette converted her grandparents' mansion into an intimate museum of family treasures from days gone by, with rooms showcasing her grandfather's medical clinic, antique photography equipment*, amateur radios, and library books, as well as a train room, a dressing room containing heirloom wedding clothes and ballet costumes, and a second-floor living room I remember well from our childhood, containing old photographs of our family and a couple of priceless paintings by Filipino masters. After offering guests a tour through the house and a look at its wonderful artifacts, she offers sumptuous, five-star, table d'hôte meals from family recipes passed down by her grandmother. This has been our most memorable meal in Manila, superbly prepared, served over an exquisitely beautiful table setting, in an historic home that holds many warm memories for me, including gatherings during which we kids - one of us would grow up to be a well-loved singer, actor, and songwriter - would put on "shows" for the older folks. Now WE are the older folks! Time to step forward again to present realities! :)


*Photo of camera equipment is from


Anonymous said...

Hey T,

Merry Christmas! I'm disappointed I won't be able to see you all this holiday season, but I hope you're having a great trip. Tell my godson that his present will be waiting for him when he gets back!


mjrh said...

It looks like you are having a grand time which is what I expected